"How America Wanted to Change the Pope." Chapter 1: the Man of Scandal

By Nicolas Seneze
La Croix International
August 13, 2019

Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick

Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrickRead exclusively the first chapters of the book by Nicolas Seneze, permanent special envoy of "La Croix" in Rome, to be published by Bayard Publishing on Sept. 4. Pre-order from your bookseller.A dazzling riseBefore going any further, we must first look at the face of the man who caused the scandal: Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. The accusation filed by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano is based above all on the fact that the former cardinal would have long benefited from the Vatican's indulgence - that is far from false - but also that Pope Francis himself would have covered it up, which is much less certain.Now 88 years old, McCarrick was one of the leading figures of the American Church. The son of a merchant navy captain who died of tuberculosis when he was 3 years old, this New Yorker completed brilliant studies that led him to the prestigious Fordham University in New York City before he entered the seminary.A multilingual and highly educated intellectual, he obtained a doctorate in sociology in Washington, D.C., then lived for 11 years in Puerto Rico, where he was president of the Catholic University. Back in the "Big Apple," he served as private secretary to the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Terence Cook, before becoming one of his auxiliary bishops in 1977.At the time, he had already allegedly abused at least one young boy, but apparently without anyone knowing about it, thus allowing for his appointment. Four years later, he was appointed bishop of the newly established diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey, before being promoted to archbishop in 1986 in Newark, near his hometown.It was there that McCarrick received John Paul II in October 1995, during the pope's...








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